Business Briefs: Gas price here drops 2 cents

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Gas price here drops 2 cents

The cost of gasoline in Pittsburgh went down nearly 2 cents this week, with the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded hitting $3.760. The average price for a comparable gallon nationwide was $3.637, according to GasBuddy.com. Gas prices in the region have been falling steadily over the past several weeks. The average cost per gallon has fallen about 8 cents over the past month.

Appraisal firms combine

Pittsburgh-based Barone Murtha Shonberg & Associates announced Monday that it has combined with 41 other appraisal firms to form Valbridge Property Advisors. During the transition period, the firm will be known as Valbridge Property Advisors/Barone Murtha Shonberg & Associates Inc. The firm has 145 appraisers, 59 office locations and 600 employees nationwide.

More proposals to buy Dell

Two New York investment groups -- Blackstone Group and Icahn Enterprises -- have submitted bids to buy Dell Inc. with proposals that could be superior to the company's current buyout offer. The new offers were disclosed Monday by the special committee to Dell's board of directors, which said it will study both proposals and negotiate with both potential buyers. Blackstone Group submitted a bid "in excess of $14.25 a share." Icahn Enterprises, headed by Carl Icahn, submitted a bid for $15 a share. Both bids are higher than the $13.65 bid from company founder and CEO Michael Dell in partnership with Silver Lake Partners, a California investment firm.

Schulze returns to Best Buy

Best Buy's co-founder and former chairman Richard Schulze is returning to the company as chairman emeritus. Mr. Schulze had considered making a buyout bid for the electronics retailer but never made a formal offer. Since hiring turnaround expert Hubert Joly as its CEO in August, the company has cut jobs, invested in training employees and started matching online prices.

SEC approves Nasdaq payout

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday that it has approved a plan by the Nasdaq stock exchange to pay $62 million in reimbursements to investment firms that lost money because of technical problems during Facebook's initial public offering last year. Facebook closed at $25.13 Monday. it has not hits its IPO price of $38 since the first day of trading.

Blood glucose meter recalled

Johnson & Johnson is recalling all its OneTouch VerioIQ blood glucose meters in the U.S. because they do not provide a warning when a diabetic's blood sugar level is dangerously high. Instead, at a certain sugar level, the meters turn off. Patients should contact LifeScan's customer service at 800-717-0276 to arrange for a replacement or ask questions from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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